Matt Comer on Trudy Wade
From Matt Comer at InterstateQ on Greensboro city councilwoman, Trudy Wade:
Let me put this as plainly as I can: Mrs. Wade, you are a bigot. In what just world is it appropriate to support a constitutional measure that forever encases an entire minority of people in second-class citizenship? Would you have supported public votes on any number of this country’s other historic civil rights measures? If your answer is yes, you’re even more of a bigot than you appear. If your answer is no, then you’re just an anti-gay bigot. Either way, you’re a bigot.
From today’s N&R:
Wade, who plans to run for a state Senate seat this year, said the constitutional amendment won’t prevent the city from providing same-sex partner benefits to its employees, as other council members have suggested.
The council is scheduled to consider a resolution to oppose the amendment tonight. Wade said she will ask council members to delay a vote until they can hold a public hearing on the issue.
The amendment, which voters will consider in May, would change the constitution to ensure that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic union the state can recognize. State law already prohibits same-sex unions.
If you, like me, remain a sentient being and are confused by the question of how a city can provide same-sex partner benefits, when the constitutional amendment says exactly fucking otherwise, then congrats from me. I hereby direct you to Greensboro’s acting city manager and lampshade, Tom Pollard, at Busy Being Born:
The proposed constitutional amendment provides in full as follows:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
Since 1996, G.S. 51-1.2 has provided that marriages between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina. The City’s provision of benefits to same sex domestic partners does not depend on marriage or a legal union but is based on the City’s authority to purchase life, health and other forms of insurance for the benefit of city employees and their dependents under GS 160A-162. While there are arguments to the contrary, the constitutional amendment does not directly limit the city’s ability to define dependents for the purposes of its insurance plans.
Here’s councilwoman Nancy Vaughan‘s comment:
Tony, at Zack’s urging Tom Pollard did some further research. This is his revised opinion.
After your email, I did find some materials prepared by Professor Eichner. She concludes that the amendment would certainly have the effect of prohibiting local governments from offering domestic partner insurance benefits based on a case from the Michigan Supreme Court interpreting a similar amendment. My prior opinion was based on a narrower interpretation of the proposed amendment, but Professor Eichner’s opinion is well-supported. If the amendment is passed, Greensboro’s program could certainly be subject to legal challenge and based on Professor’s Eichner’s research, there is significant risk the challenge would be successful. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.
Is it any fucking wonder that every opinion issued by the city attorney must be run by the UNC School of Government? Per John Hammer‘s suggestion, why not simply hire Frayda Bluestein to do the work of the city attorney?
Tom Pollard is an absolute jackass.
This is a goddamned outrage, and yes, I am drunk.